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Atomic Force Microscopy: In Sickness and in Health

Call for Papers

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) belongs to the scanning probe microscopy (SPM) family and was originally developed in order to extend scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). AFM is an easy-to-use, powerful, high-resolution microscope that allows the user to image any surface, under any aqueous condition and at a range of temperatures. AFM has been used in the investigation of the structural and mechanical properties of a wide range of biological matters including biomolecules, biomaterials, cells, and tissues. It provides the capacity to acquire high-resolution images of biosamples at the nanoscale and allows their mechanical nanocharacterization. Nanocharacterization (imaging and mechanical properties characterization) of biosamples under physiologically relevant conditions is of great importance to medicine and pharmaceutical applications.

AFM nanolevel surface characterization provides the ability to detect possible pathological conditions (e.g., cancer and osteoarthritis), test the biocompatibility of implant materials, study viruses (e.g., HIV), determine the structural properties of pharmaceutical formulations, enable visualization of topographical/mechanical changes to living cells as a result of pathological conditions or drug exposure, test novel drugs and their delivery systems, and examine disease-related tissue changes. More recent technical advances allow an adhesive, frictional, viscoelastic, magnetic, electrical, and piezoelectric characterization of biosamples and biomaterials. Consequently, AFM stands out as the ideal research instrument for exploring the detection of pathological conditions at early stages, making it very attractive in the area of bio- and nanomedicine.

The purpose of this special issue is to publish high-quality research papers as well as review articles addressing recent developments in the use of AFM on biological matter for health purposes. Original, high-quality contributions that have not yet been published or that are not currently under consideration by other journals are expected, including full papers, communications, and reviews.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • AFM in early stage detection of pathological conditions
  • AFM in cancer detection and diagnosis (from cells to tissue)
  • Biophysical and biomechanical properties of biological matter (in different pathological conditions or after therapeutic treatments) using AFM
  • AFM for pharmaceutical applications
  • Biomaterials and implants AFM characterization
  • Novel AFM techniques and coupled AFM in sickness and health

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

Submission DeadlineFriday, 7 December 2018
Publication DateApril 2019

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

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